Rx&D is encouraged by Ontario Government's focus on establishing a healthy
economy and healthy Ontarians

TORONTO, March 25 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) is encouraged by the initiatives in Ontario's 2010 Budget designed to strengthen Ontario's economy and health care system.

Our industry recognizes the challenges the government is facing in dealing with fiscal pressures and deficits and our goal is to work in partnership to increase investment in life sciences and improve patient outcomes through improved access to appropriate health care. We support the government's "open for business" goal and stress the importance of protecting the business and investment environment in Ontario.

"The government of Ontario is sending a signal that it is serious about improving the economy by building on today's strengths for tomorrow," says Rx&D President Russell Williams. "As a vital partner in health care, the pharmaceutical sector is a powerful force for innovation and has the potential to generate greater prosperity and create high quality jobs in Ontario's life sciences sector."

Rx&D applauds the government's stated intent that savings due to reforms in the drug budget will be reinvested "to ensure patients have affordable access to the prescription drugs they need." Access to innovative medicines improves patient outcomes and contributes to the sustainability of our health care system by reducing hospitalization, surgery and other health costs.

"Today's budget sends a clear message that the government understands how innovation impacts the health of Ontarians and fosters economic prosperity," said Mark Jones, President and CEO of AstraZeneca Canada Inc. and Chair of Rx&D's Ontario Regional Committee. "We are pleased that the government's policy priorities are balanced between creating jobs and investing in the health of its citizens through improved access to innovative medicines."

Mr. Williams added, "We are looking forward to working with the government on establishing an improved business environment that would see increased timely access for Ontarians to new treatments which improve and save lives. We will work with all partners in government and the community to improve the health and prosperity of Ontarians and Canadians."

    Key Facts on the innovative pharmaceutical Industry in Ontario

    -   Employs over 8,000 Ontarians in high-value jobs, such as researchers
        and scientists

    -   Invested more than $500 million in Ontario in 2006 to enable the
        discovery of life-saving therapies, such as antibiotics, new vaccines
        and more effective cancer treatments

    -   Invests the highest proportion of R&D-as-a-percent-of-sales of all
        top 100 corporate research and development investors

    -   Is the most research intensive sector of Canada's top 100 corporate
        research and development investors

About Rx&D

Rx&D is the association of leading research-based pharmaceutical companies dedicated to improving the health of Canadians through the discovery and development of new medicines and vaccines. Our community represents 18,000 men and women working for 50 member companies and invests more than $1 billion in research and development each year to fuel Canada's knowledge-based economy. Guided by our Code of Ethical Practices, our membership is committed to working in partnership with governments, healthcare professionals and stakeholders in a highly ethical manner.

SOURCE Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D)

For further information: For further information: François Lessard, Communications, Telephone: (613) 236-0455, E-mail: flessard@canadapharma.org

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Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D)

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